I’m still struggling to get good numbers at South Milton this autumn. It seems that the bulk of passage may have already happened. Reports from the near continent and as far away as Georgia all suggest that southwards movement began early this year. For example, this year at the Loire Estuary, France, large numbers of Aquatic Warblers were recorded weeks before the normal peak, with a staggering 70 individuals trapped and ringed over a 16-day period at the end of July/early August. Batumi Raptor Count Tweeted: “Something interesting is going on this year: early Harriers, early Black Kites and just now already the first Imperial Eagle of the season. Two weeks earlier than the previous earliest bird (Sept 2nd). What’s going on up north?”.
So, just 41 birds today was not really a surprise, with a smattering of migrants amongst the resident species. Almost all were trapped in the first couple of hours and everything had dried up by mid-morning: 2 Blackbird, 9 Blackcap, 2 Blue Tit, 1 Bullfinch, 3 Dunnock, 1 Great Tit, 4 Reed Warbler, 7 Sedge Warbler, 2 Tree Pipit, 6 Willow Warbler and 2 Wren.